A couple weeks before the draft, we looked at the relationship between Kevin Colbert and/or Mike Tomlin attending Pro Days not just for first round picks, we know the correlation there is VERY strong, but for all their draft day selections. We noticed there was a trend, one that continued with who the Pittsburgh Steelers took this weekend.
Four of their nine picks were prospects that Colbert and Tomlin watched workout in person. They are:
Justin Layne/Michigan State
Colbert and Tomlin traveled to Michigan together while just Colbert attended the Spartans and Crimson Tide’s Pro Days.
In that same study, we noted the correlation between higher ranking members of the organizations, ones who weren’t “just” area scouts. And again, that was borne out by this year’s class. Here’s who attended the other Pro Days.
Diontae Johnson – WRs coach Darryl Drake & STs coordinator Danny Smith
Benny Snell – RBs coach Eddie Faulkner
Sutton Smith – Area Scout Dan Colbert (believed, not confirmed)
Ulysees Gilbert III – Pro Scouting Coordinator Brandon Hunt
Derwin Gray – Pro Scouting Coordinator Brandon Hunt
Just one pick had only a scout. Smith, a Senior Bowl invite the front office got eyes on down in Mobile. That falls right in line with what you’d expect. In fact, in that same study we offered linked at the top, we listed 27 schools their draft picks would come from. With the exception of Smith, they all did.
Heck, extend it to the now 11 undrafted free agents brought in. Six of them follow that Pro Day rule.
Dravon Askew-Henry/West Virginia
Trevor Wood/Texas A&M
Askew-Henry and Brumfield were brought in for visits, making it easy to connect the dots, but still, the correlation is remarkable. That’s 50% of the players drafted/signed this weekend coming from a Colbert/Tomlin Pro Day. Those are the decision-makers, the key evaluators, and clearly, Pro Day trips leave lasting impressions.
51 weeks from now, when we’re putting the final touches on our 2020 mock drafts, you can bet a chunk of our list will be names Colbert saw during March and April. The history is clear.